This should fit into one forty-five minute lesson.

Students should be entirely capable of completing silent discussion independently. Continue to circulate throughout the room as they conduct it, monitoring content and conduct of the discussion and selecting pairs to lead whole-group discussion.

It should go without saying that you should try to choose different pairs from day to day--attempt to give all students a chance to lead off the whole-group discussions.

Desired Learner Outcomes:

Students will be able to…Students will know…
debate constructively and respectfully with their partners and classmates.
who is sharing space in the Secret Annexe with the Franks.
guide their partner's reading of the Diary.
how Anne and the other residents of the Annexe are coping with sharing a small space and limited supplies.
read the Diary independently.who is helping the Secret Annexe residents hide and what they do.


Summative Assessment(s):

Describe Performance TasksExplain &/or Reference Criteria
Students will read the section
of the book that has been assigned
and complete their "diary entries."
Use your own grading scale to assess
the completeness and thoughtfulness
of each student's response to his/her
reading. I use 1-2-3-4 (1 being the
lowest, 4 being the highest), where a "4"
entry not only summarizes what was read
correctly, but engages in questioning
and extending what has been read.




Students should begin the lesson with their partner (note: an odd number of students in a class may permit the use of a triad, which also works pretty well). Aim for three paper exchanges in this silent discussion. It should be timed as such:

  • 3-5 minutes: Each student writes something to his/her partner. Remind them of the discussion starters referenced in the introductory lesson if they struggle.
  • While students write, circulate around the room with a notepad or clipboard and note students' discussions that are particularly cogent, thoughtful, or provocative. Make sure to choose students who touch on the most important events or ideas in the reading. You may use this as a formative assessment/classwork grade, or it may give you a good sense of who to "call on" in the whole-group discussion.
  • Announce "switch!" after 3-5 minutes. Students should switch papers and respond to what his/her partner wrote. Again, remind strugglers of tools for constructive disagreement and extension.
  • Announce another "switch!" after 3-5 minutes.
  • Announce a final "switch!" after 3-5 more minutes.
  • Then conclude the silent discussion. This should take a total of 15-20 minutes, although, since this is the first time, it may take longer.
PART 2: In the whole-group discussion, I usually choose three pairs of students whose silent discussions were particularly productive. Touch on these points in your whole-group discussion:

  • Compare and contrast how Margot, Mrs. Frank, Mr. Frank, and Anne are dealing with being in the Secret Annexe. [Margot and Mrs. Frank react with shock and find it difficult to do anything; Anne and Mr. Frank get to work at once.] What do these differences in reactions tell us about their personalities?
  • Describe the Van Daan family. How does Anne seem to feel about each member of the family? [Mrs. Van Daan is largely described negatively--selfish, materialistic, meddling; Mr. Van Daan is a henpecked husband; Peter is quiet and withdrawn.]
  • How would you feel sharing such a small space with people you don't especially like--especially if you could never leave?
  • Is Mrs. Van Daan right in any of her criticisms? Even if she is, should she be sharing those thoughts under the circumstances?



Now might be a good time to do the "Who's in Your Secret Annexe?" activity, if you have chosen to integrate those activities as classwork or homework.

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